Luna's Blog

Mod S2S Mentor

Sister to Sister: Songwriting

I've loved writing for almost as long as I can remember. When I was in elementary school, I loved making up stories about characters that I had created. I would make small books by writing on pieces of printer paper, drawing pictures to go with the story, and stapling them together. I continued this love of writing throughout middle school, learning to write poetry as well as novels and short stories, and I still love writing today. However, I recently learned about, and started creating, another form of writing: songwriting.

When I first tried songwriting, I was still in late elementary school. My brother and I would make up parodies of holiday songs by keeping the tune and changing the lyrics. Back then, I wasn't quite sure how to write my own music. We would then record the songs with our video camera. That was my first attempt and songwriting, and I don't have any of the lyrics that I wrote back then. However, writing holiday parodies helped me realize how difficult and fun songwriting could be.

Later on, when I was a sophomore in high school, I approached songwriting again. This time, the songs I wrote were extremely emotional, not anything like the lighthearted parodies I wrote when I was younger. I was dealing with a lot back then, and writing songs helped me deal with my feelings. In addition to writing, I also researched songwriting, because I wanted to write the best songs I could. During my research, I learned that songwriters have many different ways of writing songs. Some songwriters, including myself, write the lyrics first and then create the music. Others create the music before the lyrics. However, to my understanding, a lot of songwriters write different songs in different ways. For example, a songwriter could write the music first for one song, and then the lyrics first for another. Or they could come up with the music and lyrics at the same time. Learning other songwriters' tips for writing songs helped me when I was writing my own music.

When I was sixteen, I recorded my first original music video. The song was called "Take It To Heart," and I had written both the lyrics and melody. I played the melody and chords on the keyboard piano. Writing it was difficult, especially writing the melody and finding a chord progression to go with it. I had written the lyrics first, written the melody second, and found the chord progression after that. Looking back on it, I think it would have been easier if I had decided on the chord progression before I wrote the melody. That's how I wrote my next song, "We'll Be Proud," and it was much easier for me. However, different songwriters often have different ways of writing a song, so something that is difficult for me might be easy for someone else.

If you love music, poetry, or writing, I would definitely recommend giving songwriting a try. Songwriting has helped me, and many other people, process their emotions in a fun and creative way. When I grow up, I'm hoping to write songs as part of my career. However, I know it will require a lot of practice, which is why I'm thinking about taking lessons in songwriting as well as singing. If I end up deciding not to be a songwriter as part of my career, I will probably still write songs for fun, because I love songwriting and want to write songs forever. Whether you write songs professionally or just for fun, I think that songwriting is an awesome thing to do.

Have you ever written a song? What do you think about songwriting? Let me know in the comments below!

-Alexandra 

Email me when people comment –
Mod S2S Mentor

Alexandra is sixteen years old. She wants to be a writer and singer when she grows up.

You need to be a member of NMG Members to add comments!

Comments

  • I write songs! I usually begin them and never finish them, though. It can be quite helpful to get through emotions and other things like that.
  • I am in a band and its name is...STALE GRANOLA CRUMBS!!! My friends Autumn, Safiya and I are all in it. We make awesome songs together and soon will be posting them on a video site...hopefully.
  • Yes! I'm in a band called Young & Random, and we have a song on iTunes. We wrote that song ourselves and we're working on a second one. The way we do it is we do the piano melody first and then we write the lyrics to that. Then we lay in all the other instruments. It's really hard, but it's also really fun.
  • I write a lot of poetry as a form of 'therapy' but I have also written one or two songs. This was a great article, thanks!
  • Mod S2S Mentor
    I love music and writing, and I've written a fair amount of poetry, as well as dabbling in some short instrumental compositions. This summer, I wrote my first song with lyrics, though. (It was actually for the final project of a class I was taking.) I didn't do a ton of research on chord progressions and the like, so I was mostly just winging it and improvising with sounds I liked, but for me I came up with the first verse or so of lyrics and melody mostly simultaneously. Then, for the rest of the song, I did lyrics first and then melody.
    I completely agree that there are many different styles and processes of composing music, and they're all great in their own ways; different people should go with what works best for them, although it's also great to try new methods every now and then.
    Great article, Alexandra - thanks for sharing! And best of luck with songwriting as your career. I wish I could hear some of your songs. :)
This reply was deleted.